Eltel and Umoe, owner of Sønnico Tele agreed to merge telecom businesses in Norway

Eltel and Umoe, owner of Sønnico Tele AS, have signed an agreement to merge their telecom businesses in Norway. The merger will create a leading service provider with 1.200 employees and turnover of 1.500 million Norwegian crowns. The plan is to complete the merger during 2014.

After receiving a positive answer from the Norwegian Competition Authority at the beginning of this month, Eltel Group and Umoe, owner of Sønnico Tele AS, have reached an agreement to merge their respective telecom businesses within Fixed and Mobile in Norway on 14 February. The businesses of Sønnico Tele and Eltel’s telecom businesses in Norway will be transferred into a jointly owned company to be named Eltel Sønnico AS. The new company will have approximately 1,200 employees and a turnover of about 1,500 million Norwegian kroner.

The formation of Eltel Sønnico AS will give the Norwegian telecom industry a strong and agile service provider with a wider resource base and nationwide coverage. The company will have a strengthened capacity to integrate forward and backward in line with the needs of the market.

Mr. Espen Klitzing, Chairman of the board of Sønnico Tele, says: “Sønnico Tele and Eltel’s telecom are already two strong companies. By combining forces we will realize synergies, expand scope and create value for customers, employees and owners. Eltel Sønnico AS has the potential to further strengthen our position as a leading company in its market.”

Mr. Axel Hjärne, President and CEO of Eltel Group Corporations, says: “This merger is based on a very sound industrial logic and will create a profound change in the Norwegian marketplace. We see this as a unique opportunity to strengthen our leading position in the industry, ensuring our competitiveness and future success in Norway. We see the merger of Eltel Telecom Norway and Sønnico Tele as an excellent combination, bringing very good value.”

The detailed planning of the merger and integration has started. The merger transaction is expected to be completed by mid-March. The company, Eltel Sønnico AS, will be registered and the board and management will be appointed accordingly. Anders Hauglie-Hanssen will be appointed as the CEO of Eltel Sønnico AS and Thor-Egel Bråthen as the deputy CEO of the new company. The transfer of all employees, resources and systems will take place in 2014 and will be completed at latest in December 2014. The merger will not have an impact on Umoe or Eltel’s other businesses with exception of telecom businesses in Norway.

For further information, please contact:
Axel Hjärne, President and CEO, Eltel Group

Espen Klitzing, Chairman of Sønnico Tele AS
Tel.: +47 92826166 espen.klitzing@umoe.no